Broncos Head To 2009 WAC Championship, April 27-29 in Henderson, Nevada....
► What’s Happening
With the regular season over and the Broncos coming off their best tournament result of the 2008-09 campaign with a fourth-place finish at the PING Cougar Classic this past Friday and Saturday. Boise State heads off to the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Championship which will take place this Monday thru Wednesday, April 27-29. This year’s league title event is being hosted by the conference office and Utah State University at the Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev. All nine WAC members will be present at the men’s golf championship with the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament at stake.
► Live Scoring
There will be live tournament scoring available for the WAC Championship. It can be accessed by going to www.GolfStat.com or www.WACSports.com.
► The Tournament Format
The format for this tournament calls for three rounds of 18 holes each played over three days. The first round will be played on Monday, April 27, followed by the second on Tuesday and final round on Wednesday morning. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. (Mountain) each day with everyone starting at the number one tee (no shot gun start). Since there are nine teams they will be paired into groups of three. Top four scores of the five individuals representing each school will count for each round towards the team total.
Day One Team Pairings and Tee Time Schedule (Mountain times):
Starting at 8:30 a.m. - Utah State, Idaho, and New Mexico State
Starting at 9:20 a.m. - Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, and Nevada
Starting at 10:10 a.m. - Hawaii, Fresno State, and Boise State
► The Tournament Course
The 2009 Western Athletic Conference Championship is being played at a neutral site for the first time since Boise State joined the league for the 2001-02 campaign. This year’s competition is being hosted by Utah State at the Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev. For this event the club features a competition course that spans 7,332 yards for a par 72. Note: The event will be held at neutral sites from now on as voted on by the conference.
► The Tournament Field
All nine WAC member schools sponsor men’s golf which will makeup the field. The participating teams for the championship tournament includes: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State, and Utah State. A total of 45 individuals, five per team, will compete for the team and individual titles.
► Bronco History at WAC Championship
Boise State’s fortunes have improved considerably under coach Kevin Burton who has guided the Broncos to three-consecutive top four finishes at the WAC Championship. Last year was the highest all-time result for Boise State at this event when it took second-place. The Broncos tallied a 896 (+32) to finish five strokes behind New Mexico State at 891 (+27). Boise State’s Troy Merritt, who was a senior last season, was the first Bronco to win the individual title when he carded a tournament score of 209 (-7).
All-time Team WAC Results
2002 - T9th 893
2003 - 9th 898
2004 - T4th 869
2005 - 10th 937
2006 - T4th 879
2007 - 3rd 866 (+2)
2008 - 2nd 896 (+32)
► Boise State’s Tournament Roster
The Boise State lineup for the WAC Championship will be the same as last weekend’s PING Cougar Classic. The roster is an experienced group of four upper-classmen including two seniors, two juniors, along with one freshman who has competed in every tournament this season. The team features the team leader senior Scott Loewen (72.3 stroke average) who will be playing at the number one position, junior John Baranco (74.6 average) stays at the two. Freshman Blake Brown (73.3 average) will remain at the third position, followed by junior Robbie Richards (74.8 average) at the four and senior Kevin Tarango (78.1 average) at the fifth spot. This group combined for the top tournament result of the season this past Friday and Saturday when they tied for fourth-place out of 14 teams at the PING Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah. Four Broncos finished in the top-25 out of 78 individuals with Brown leading the group by taking fifth place.
Scott Loewen will be competing in his first WAC tournament at the number one position for Boise State. He has led the team in four tournaments and placed second in three others. This year he has three top-10 finishes and a team-high seven top-25 results. The senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has a team-best season stroke per round average of 72.3, is career mark is 75.0.
Kevin Tarango is the second senior on the squad participating in the WAC Championship. This will be his second trip to this event after carding a 244 (+28) at last year’s tournament. The Coalinga, Calif., native has seen action in four tournaments this year. He will compete at the number five position for the Broncos this week in Nevada. This year he is averaging 78.1 strokes per round, his career average is 77.4.
John Baranco is one of two juniors representing the Broncos at the league championship. He has been a regular feature on the Broncos travel roster since he was a freshman. This will be his third WAC Championship tournament following an eighth-place (tie) finish at last year’s event in Reno, Nev., tallying a 9-over 225. His best performance at the event was as a freshman in 2007 when the Boise native placed seventh after firing a 1-under 215. Baranco has played in a team-high 27 tournaments as a Bronco in three years. This year he has averaged 75.0 strokes per round, while recording one top-10 finish and four top-25. Baranco will be competing at the number two position for Boise State at the conference tournament.
Robbie Richards is the second junior attending the WAC Championship. Like Baranco he is a three-year letterwinner for Boise State having played in 22 tournaments as a Bronco. This will also be Richards third trip to the league championship event where he has recorded scores of 240 (+24) in 2008 tying for 31st and 220 (+13) in 2007 good for 39th (tie). This year he has played in every tournament averaging 74.8 strokes per round with one top-10 finish and two top-25. Richards will be playing as the number four for the Broncos during the WAC tournament.
Blake Brown is the lone underclassman on the WAC tournament squad. Like Baranco, Richards, and Loewen he has competed in every tournament for Boise State this season. The freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz., averages 73.3 strokes per round and has recorded three top-10 finishes and has five top-25 results. He took fifth-place this past weekend at the PING Cougar Classic. This week Brown will fill the third position on the roster for Boise State at the competition in Henderson, Nev.
► Last Time Out For the Broncos
Last time out, April 24-25, Boise State turned in its best performance of the year. The Broncos tied New Mexico State for fourth-place at the PING Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah, by carding an 8-under-par 856. Four Broncos finished in the top-22 led by freshman Blake Brown who took fifth followed by John Baranco who tied for 16th, Robbie Richards was 21st, and Scott Loewen at 22nd.
► Quick Turn Around
The Broncos had a quick turn around this week. After competing at the PING Cougar Classic this past Friday and Saturday in Provo, Utah, the Broncos headed directly to the WAC Championship following Saturday’s final round in Utah. They drove from Provo to Henderson, Nev., Saturday night.
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